Traveling in Style: Eight Tips for Dressing Well from a Suitcase

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The holidays will be here before you know it, and that means that you may soon be traveling to visit with your family and friends. Most people find packing for trips to be a real headache. They worry about having the perfect outfit for every possible event, fret about fitting it all in a tiny bag, and often end up throwing in many more than they really need.

While attempting to fit a week’s worth of great outfits in a carry-on may seem like a daunting task, it doesn’t have to be. The secret to getting the most out of your travel bag is advance planning and choosing versatile pieces that you can wear different ways. With a little preparation and finesse, you can pack your bags sans stress, enjoy your trip, and look effortlessly stunning each day.

Traveling in Style: Eight Tips for Dressing Well from a SuitcaseHere’s a great carry on, the Barney’s Weekender Bag

Read on for my eight tips to take the guesswork out of zipping up your suitcase this holiday season!

Choose your shoes (wisely). Footwear is the heaviest and bulkiest item you’ll be packing, so think carefully about which shoes will get the most mileage in terms of color and style. Be sure to include a flat, a heel, and a comfortable shoe for walking—all preferably in neutral tones, so they work with everything you bring. And before you pack, stuff your shoes with microfiber fillers (or socks) so they don’t get smashed in your suitcase. It’s also a good idea to put each pair of shoes in a shoe bag for protection.

tory burch flatsPack a great pair of flats, like the Tory Burch Ballet Flat.   

 Pick your colors. Before you pack, think about the color story you would like to convey through your clothing —and then build your outfits around those tones. The base you choose, whether it’s brown, black, blue, or gray, will create the foundation for your outfits. This will help you broaden the looks you can put together.

 Plan your outfits. After you’ve selected the clothing you’ll be bringing, it’s time to plan out some outfits in advance. Ideally, your pieces will fit together harmoniously and can be worn together in several different ways. Lay each item (including shoes) on your bed and imagine how you will wear the various garments.

Pack accent pieces. Now that you’ve chosen your color story, you can add a few accent pieces to complete your looks. Try a statement necklace or bracelet, a scarf, or a brightly colored cardigan to really make your outfits pop. This is a good time to also pack additional accessories, toiletries, undergarments, or extras in your bag.


Add a statement necklace.

Prepare for a surprising climate shift. If you are traveling to a different part of the country, realize that you may encounter some unexpected weather. It’s not uncommon to have unseasonably warm weather in the cooler months—of course you could also potentially encounter a blizzard! Either way, it is important to take no chances as you pack. Bring a nice t-shirt in case it’s unexpectedly sunny and warm, and always be sure to bring a rain jacket so you’re not soaked in a downpour!


A soft t-shirt is a great travel companion, like this one from Nordstrom.

 Remove one outfit. Once you’ve placed everything in your bag, take out one outfit so you don’t overpack. This will free up room in your suitcase and give you a little extra space for anything you’d like to bring back with you.

 Pack your plastic. Plastic bags always come in handy when you travel. Weave long bags from the drycleaner in between your stacked layers of clothing to protect everything and keep it neat. Then later, these same bags can line the drawers at your hotel. Smaller Ziploc bags are great for your cosmetics and toiletries and make getting through airport security a breeze.

 Wear your bulkiest pieces during the flight. Don’t try to cram your jacket and tall boots into a small suitcase. Instead, wear them (or any other heavier pieces you’re bringing) on your flight. If you get warm, you can place your jacket in the overhead compartment or beneath your seat. And make sure that your travel outfit is chic and comfortable. You never know who you’ll meet!


A hooded trench coat is a perfect travelling companion.

Remember, your holiday travels should be a relaxing and joyful opportunity to connect and celebrate with your loved ones—not a packing-induced stress fest. Keep this in mind as you prepare your luggage. Hopefully these helpful hints will make packing your bags a little easier and your getaway even more enjoyable. Now, hop on that plane and have a fabulous trip!


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1 Response

  1. Joan Pagano says:

    Love these tips and resources! My toiletries are often the most complicated part of the equation!

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